My children like to wrap presents. They wrap them in butcher paper, newspaper, construction paper, even towels. Then they bring them to me, and I thank them profusely, and put the things away again.
My smallest son has just turned five. One of his favorite things in this world is money. He has saved up, through work and through allowance, nearly five dollars.
Yesterday he found a penny. He got the smallest wrapping paper he could find, and wrapped it up for me. I thanked him, and told him I would put it in his cup. He was so happy. He asked for the entire pack of paper to wrap all his pennies in. I told him no.
I told him cigarette papers were for adults, and not children, but if he wanted one, he could ask me for it to wrap one found penny at a time, not his entire collection.
Today when I picked him up from daycare, his teacher showed me my ZigZag cigarette papers and asked me if they were from my home. Apparently, my son had brought them to his daycare and given them to a friend.
I am sure I turned a bright red. I explained that these are from when I smoked Drum, last year. But it doesn’t matter what I say, does it? This is one of those things that mark you in a small town. No one knows me, here. No one knows that I don’t drink, that I have never done drugs. No one here knows that I prefer to smoke halfzware shag for cigarettes, because I am allergic to filters and most tobacco, but rarely what is imported. No one knows that I finally became allergic to Drum, last year, and quit. I am the mother of the child who brought rolling papers to school. That is who I am, now. I am horribly suspect.
But worse than that, is who he is, now. He is the child who brought rolling papers to school at age five. The child with PTSD and ODD and ADHD. The one with a temper, who does not often listen to his teachers. I have made his situation worse, I fear. By allowing him to use these papers for wrapping pennies, I did not make them off limits enough, and now he will suffer for it, in the long memory of a small town.
I am so upset, that I have the strongest craving for a cigarette. But I do not have any tobacco, and now, no papers, either.